Cape Town Lately’s Gareth Duncan chats to actor Keenan Arrison, who is catching plenty of attention with recent roles on TV and film.
Growing up in Cape Town, what was your earliest memory of TV and the movies?
My earliest memory and my introduction to films was with my grandfather. He loved movies. Friday nights would be movie nights at my grandparents’ house with all the cousins. There are many cousins. This definitely was a hook for me.
Who did you idolise in the acting world?
As a youngster, I’d watch films with Clarke Gable and Marlon Brando. They would keep me engaged throughout. Others include Johhny Depp, Josh Brolin and Al Pacino.
How relevant is it to study acting these days or do you believe it’s a natural gift that one possesses?
I would say it is very important to study acting, like any other profession. It helps young actors with getting to know the basics of the ‘craft’, the technique of acting and how to respect the process. Educations is key.
What do you remember about you first acting gig?
My first acting gig was immediately after drama school. It was a professional production for the Baxter Theatre and I was nervous beyond words. Nothing’s changed. I still get that nervous before any performance.
You become a household face on the ETV series “Shooting Stars”. How has this added to your career?
Being on TV screens daily has really helped my career. Audiences were able to get to see my work and start following my growth and work as an actor. I have been fortunate to gain some popularity from it and also work in other successful productions because of it.
What was it like to work on M-NET’s “The Wild”?
“The Wild” was a great growing experience for me as a young actor, especially working with SA’s best heavy weights of TV and film. The cast, crew and directors all became a family unit and we made high quality, prime-time television.
You’ve played a few roles where people see you as a charmer and man who loves to break hearts. What do you make of these type of roles?
It’s always fun to be able to portray a character that is so far from who you are in real life. I tend to get cast in those roles very often, but I have also been lucky to play characters on the other side of the spectrum.
You moved back to Cape Town last year after spending the past few years up in Johannesburg. How different is the scope for acting roles in the Mother City
I think each city has something special to offer actors. Johannesburg is great for actors seeking a career in TV predominantly. Cape Town offers the international scope, which is rapidly on the rise with big budget film and productions shooting here. Honestly, I love them both!
You’ve starred in a number of international productions. Tell us about your upcoming Hollywood feature in the movie “Accident”.
“Accident” is a suspense thriller where a group of teenagers suffer a terrible accident during a joy ride and get trapped at the bottom of a ravine. The film stars the likes of Stephanie Schildknecht, Roxane Hayward and Tyrone Keogh, and is set for release 2017.
What does the rest of 2017 hold for you?
I’ve been blessed to have 2017 kick off on a good note. I am currently shooting on an in international feature film due for release in 2018 and I am also writing and producing my first one-man show due later this year.
Do you see yourself breaking into Hollywood one day?
For me, it’s all about timing. Whether it’s 2017 or 2027, my aim and focus is to continue acting in and producing work that is recognised on a global scale.